Matthew 4: 12 – 17

Only five verses this time, and like Matthew I don’t have much to say, too.

Yet again the narrative jumps with no explanation of why something is happening. Suddenly we’re informed John is in prison and on hearing of this Jesus goes to Galilee. Matthew might be forgiven in making overuse of the contemporary audience’s assumed knowledge of events, but it’s a real oversight by the Holy Spirit in not giving future readers from different cultures any connective tissue to put on this bare bones of a story.

Once again prophecy is the reason why Jesus chooses to begin preaching in Galilee. I wonder why fulfilling all these mundane prophecies is so important as they just get in the way of revealing the truth. The only reason they are there is to know the Messiah, and so the only reason Jesus is fulfilling them is to be recognized as such. Yet the miracles Jesus could do would be a much better basis for all prophecies. If the prophecies had stuck to impossible things like, “the Messiah will be known by the way he turns water into wine, walks on water and brings the dead back to life,” then there would be a lot fewer potential candidates to screen. Any crazy desert prophet can travel out of Egypt to Galilee and start preaching in order to be mistaken as the Messiah, but it’s a lot harder to do miracles on demand. Instead of all these “do this, over there” stuff the OT prophets should have considered a few simply worded prophecies that are extremely difficult to do.

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